Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

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Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

Spotlight on Research

Spotlight on Research

From Dengue Fever to Zika Virus: mosquitoes have been making headlines lately across the globe. PIERC monitors mosquitoes throughout the Pacific. Learn more about the role of mosquitoes and other vectors on wildlife health in the Pacific Basin.

Vector Ecology

Featured Scientist

Featured Scientist

PIERC ecologist Dr. Dennis LaPointe's work has focused on the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses throughout the Pacific and their impacts on native birds. He is currently assisting NPS with coastal mosquito monitoring to protect public health.

LaPointe Research

News

 Adult and juvenile Puaiohi
March 16, 2017

Approximately 500 Puaiohi exist in the wild, all on Kauai

An ‘I‘iwi on Kaua‘i Island
September 7, 2016

Kauai Island forest birds at tipping point toward extinction

Image:  Black-footed Albatross with Chick
September 23, 2015

Islands used by tropical seabirds are highly vulnerable to sea level rise according to a new study released today.

Publications

Conversion of native terrestrial ecosystems in Hawai‘i to novel grazing systems: a review
Year Published: 2017

Conversion of native terrestrial ecosystems in Hawai‘i to novel grazing systems: a review

The remote oceanic islands of Hawai‘i exemplify the transformative effects that non-native herbivorous mammals can bring to isolated terrestrial ecosystems. We reviewed published literature containing systematically collected, analyzed, and peer-reviewed original data specifically addressing direct effects of non-native hoofed mammals (ungulates) on terrestrial ecosystems, and indirect effects...

Linking dominant Hawaiian tree species to understory development in recovering pastures via impacts on soils and litter
Year Published: 2017

Linking dominant Hawaiian tree species to understory development in recovering pastures via impacts on soils and litter

Large areas of tropical forest have been cleared and planted with exotic grass species for use as cattle pasture. These often remain persistent grasslands after grazer removal, which is problematic for restoring native forest communities. It is often hoped that remnant and/or planted trees can jump-start forest succession; however, there is little mechanistic information on how different canopy...

Aging and sexing guide to the forest birds of Hawai‘i Island
Year Published: 2016

Aging and sexing guide to the forest birds of Hawai‘i Island

We banded birds in Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge from 2012 to 2016, collecting photographs of birds and making detailed observations on coloration, morphology, and molting patterns. While we believe the criteria in this guide are applicable to forest birds across Hawai’i Island, as well as on other Hawaiian islands for ‘Apapane, ‘I‘iwi, and Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi, certain characteristics such...